Storytime: Brought To You By Rory’s Story Cubes

Inspiration images: A bridge, a cell phone, and a magnet.  Goal: 1000+ words

As soon as I stepped foot on the bridge, I felt the pull. I’d felt it before, but never this strong. Never had I been so sure that I was within 100 feet of someone who would understand everything. Never had I been so scared that I might be wrong. I pulled out my cell phone and quickly dialed my sister.

“What, June?” December sighed as soon as she picked up. “I can’t always answer during work hours. You know that—”

“D,” I said, cutting her off before she could really get into stride, “I think it’s happening.”

I didn’t have to explain anything else. Even though my sister had never felt the pull I did, even though the sixth sense that was our heritage from our father’s mother seemed to have skipped her, she knew immediately what I meant.

“No! Damnit! I can’t get away now!” I heard something crash on her end of the line, probably her chair as she shoved it out of the way. “How could you do this without me?”

I smiled. “You know it’s not exactly a choice, December.” Secretly, though, I felt a little relieved. Did I really want to meet my soul mate under my older sister’s watchful eye? “And as much as I love you, I’m not going to walk away from this and just hope it happens again.”

“Of course not,” she sighed. “It’s just, are you sure? Really sure?”

Part of her had held onto the hope that Grandma December—my sister’s namesake—had been exaggerating or maybe even lying outright when she told us the stories of her sixth sight and how it had always guided her.

“The women of this family always know,” she’d said. When we wanted to know how, she walked to the refrigerator and pulled off two of the magnets, two solid black circles powerful enough to hold up stacks of paper.

“You’ll know because sometimes you’ll get a feeling right here,” she said, pointing to the center of her chest just under her ribs. “It’ll feel like a magnet either pulling you toward a decision or a person or a place or pushing you away from it.”

She demonstrated with the magnets, holding them apart from one another. We watched as they danced around each other, resisting her attempts to guide them closer together. Then, she flipped one around and suddenly she couldn’t keep them apart. The magnets snapped together and toppled out of her hands. I remember rushing forward to pick them up, staring at them with all the wonder a small child can contain.

“When you feel a pull so strong it feels as though you have to follow it or you might stop breathing,” she paused, smiling at some memory she didn’t share that day. “Well, my girls, that will be a very special day indeed. Follow that feeling, that pull, and you will not be disappointed.”

I sucked in a deep breath. If I’d needed any more confirmation, this breathlessness, the feeling that the air had started to thin around me grew and grew.

“I’m sure.” I held the phone away from my face so she wouldn’t hear me panting for breath. He was getting closer. I could feel it in the tightening pull around my chest and my near-suffocating breathlessness. Strangely, it didn’t make me dizzy or woozy. It felt more like the itching anticipation I remembered from Christmas Eve’s years and years ago. I’d hoped for this moment for so long, yet it still seemed too soon. I’d just turned seventeen. I hadn’t even graduated high school yet. There was still so much I wanted to do, to experience. Would this change everything? Of course it would, but would it be for the better?

“I have to go,” I told her. My hands had started shaking and I didn’t wait for her to answer before I said, “I’ll call you tonight.”

Clicking end, I turned and placed my hands on the rail of the bridge and took a deep breath. It didn’t help. The feeling didn’t ease. Tension built and built until I knew I had to do something or shatter, but just as I lifted my hands to put my cell phone away and go in search of destiny, I heard a deep voice cry, “Oh, hell!”

Something large, hot, and sticky slammed into my side. My ribs cracked into the railing, knocking what little breath had remained in my lungs out and sending my phone flying into the creek below.

“No!” I shouted, leaning over the edge in a futile attempt to halt its’ descent. “Damn…”

My sister had just gotten a new cell number and I hadn’t memorized it yet. Aunt Ashley would know it, but she wouldn’t be home from her meeting until late tonight. Just as I wondered how I would get in touch with her to report on whatever happened today did I realize that despite the pain in my ribs, I could breathe again. The pull had disappeared.

“I am so sorry,” my accidental assailant said as he helped me regain my footing. “Did I see something go over the edge?”

“Yeah,” I sighed. Not only had I lost my cell phone, I’d lost my chance of meeting my soul mate. I stared down into the rushing water of the creek, positively forlorn. “My cell phone.” And my future.

He cursed under his breath and I felt him lean over the edge next to me as if he would find it floating in midair. “I am so sorry,” he repeated. “I don’t know what happened. I was running and everything was fine and then I suddenly tripped over nothing.”

He turned to face me, but I kept my eyes on the water. “Let me take you to buy a new one.”

“It’s okay. You didn’t do it on purpose.”

“It’s still my fault. Please? I would feel a lot better if you let me do this.”

I sighed and winced as the pain registered in my ribs. “Oww.”

“Are you hurt, too?” Large hands settled on my shoulders and turned me away from the wall. I found myself staring at a bright blue tank top mostly soaked through with sweat and clinging to a thoroughly muscled chest. My heart rate picked up as hope bloomed in my chest. “God, I feel like such an ass.”

I slowly lifted my eyes and found my gaze locked on stormy gray irises framed by long black lashes and thick black eyebrows. His shaggy black hair was windswept and sweat-matted, proving a beautiful foil to his perfectly sculpted features. Everything about his face was sharp and angular except his lips which held such lush promise that I knew I would never in my life get tired of kissing them.

He looked me over too, at first checking for injuries and then again as shock registered on his face.

“Wow,” he breathed. “This is going to sound either creepy or unbelievable, but I swear I had a dream about a girl who looked exactly like you last night.”

I smiled and lifted my hand to tuck a stray piece of hair behind his ear. “Somehow, that doesn’t surprise me at all.”

All text copyright Erica Cameron.

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